Click Ottawa City Journal (October 25) for article "A Quiet Life Captured on Canvas" by Patricia Lonergan.
Click Ottawa Citizen (November 1) for article "Sketches of a Life Lived" by Kelly Egan.
In the Marjorie paintings, I have created a visual biography of a friend and neighbour Miss Marjorie Isabel Gray (1911-2005).
Marjorie cared for both parents until their deaths in the early 1960s, remaining unmarried all her life and living in the same Ottawa centretown apartment for nearly sixty years. After her death, I witnessed the clearance of Marjorie’s room at the seniors’ home by the trust company who acted as financial executors. Requesting one photograph of my friend (the Karsh), it was suggested that I “take the lot”. With no known relatives everything but valuable jewellry would be tossed in the bin.
In an attempt to remember a woman who might otherwise be forgotten, I began to paint the Marjorie series.
Isolated by choice, independent and genteel, Marjorie left behind many unanswered questions along with a small box of family photographs. Her spacious apartment, two floors beneath my own, was a duplicate of the one I lived in with my husband. While my paintings focus on the life of Miss Marjorie Gray, the looking glass is reversed to examine my own feelings towards this woman who revealed so little of herself.
This series includes her friends, father, mother, brother, Mac the Scottish Terrier, Marjorie herself and the apartment Marjorie called home for nearly sixty years. Through my paintings I attempt to reveal her beauty, honesty and most importantly her singularity.
This body of work colourfully documents the life of a single, university educated woman living and working in Ottawa during the first half of the twentieth century; these acrylic paintings celebrate a moment in Canadian social history. As is true of biographers or translators, ultimately, these paintings say more about the artist than the subject. I invite the viewer to enter an intimate and considered world that resonates with both fragility and strength.